This weekend, Star Trek: Enterprise stars Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating will participate in a Creation Entertainment Virtual Fan Experience. Yesterday, which was exactly 15 years since Enterprise went off the air, TrekMovie had a chance to have a quick chat with the pair to preview the event.
Today marks the 15th anniversary of the airing of the controversial Star Trek: Enterprise series finale “These Are The Voyages.”
Dominic Keating: Really? 15 years you say? Oh, well, well. Crikey!
Connor Trinneer: That explains why it is featured on the front page of Wikipedia.
Did you guys agree with the critiques of the episode at the time and have your views changed over the years?
Connor Trinneer: One’s feelings about the finale were not just bittersweet, they were just bitter. We had the plug pulled out from us, and we felt it was far too soon. Personally, I liked the way I was able to conclude Trip with his untimely demise. As an actor that was satisfying to me. I have always felt that way.
Dominic Keating: By the time we had shot that episode I had got my head around it. I took the phone call from Rick Berman right in the middle of when we were shooting those two “In a Mirror Darkly” episodes, and he said, “Are you sitting down?” And I said, “Oh Rick, don’t tell me.” [Director] Jim Conway had come back to shoot the first one of those after all those years. He had shot the pilot. And then whoever the director was to shoot the second, whether he got wind of our cancellation or whether he was sick or something, he or she would not show up, and so they gave the directorship to Marvin Rush, our [Director of Photography]. So it was all very family and in-house, that 10-day period as we looked around one another in our Original Series costumes thinking, “This is it, we are now in the final months until the end of it all.” By the time we shot that last episode, I was trying to get on a [Aaron] Spelling show [laughs]. I was trying to use all my contacts with Jim Conway to get on some vampire show, I don’t know.
Apropos of the episode, I have always said it was clunky. But I have always sympathized with Brannon [Braga] and Rick [Berman] and them wanting to somehow honor not just our show, but the end of their tenure with the franchise. It wasn’t the best way to do it and clearly it upset Scott [Bakula] way more than we knew at the time. Remember when we did that 10-year reunion at CBS and he aired his grievance at that time. He was quite plainspoken that he felt we were shortchanged with that last episode and he wasn’t happy about it. But God bless Scott, he didn’t complain about anything. So, when he does say something like that you know that really got to him.
Connor just said he was satisfied with how his character arc wrapped up, how do you feel about how Malcolm’s arc was treated over the years?
Dominic Keating: I liked what I got to do. There were no guarantees for any of us, other than triumvirate, which is usually the thrust of Star Trek shows. You got the captain, we had Jolene [Blalock] as the Vulcan vixen, and Trip as the engineer. They knew that was going to be the thrust of the show. As for rest of us, we would give Scott a week off from time to time. But that was a crapshoot over what you got written for you and how you elbowed your way into a part there.
I was frankly honored and very happy with what they fleshed me out with and gave me to do. I enjoyed it very much. I didn’t expect to be the action man, running in to save the captain’s mess-ups every other week. I liked it very much getting to do a lot of running and jumping. The EV suit stuff got a little tiring, I will say. That is all recorded by the sound department for posterity. I had a particular meltdown in that suit one time on a comet I seem to remember. But yeah, I was very happy with what they gave us to do.
There was a concerted fan effort to bring the show back for a fifth season. Did you think it could happen and have any thoughts on where they might go with your characters?
Connor Trinneer: I didn’t have any particular ideas for where to go. I was always impressed with what they did to Trip. I felt I was in capable hands. The possibility of it coming back? There was some air in that. There was a minute there when I thought it was possible. But it just didn’t happen.
Each Star Trek show seems to have a male bonding pair and for Enterprise it was you guys. Was that something planned ahead, or did it happen organically?
Dominic Keating: It was self-evident early on that Connor and I got on and they could tell that we were friends off-set and when we were just knocking about. And there were a couple of scenes early on and they saw we had a good acting chemistry. It all clicked. We liked each other. We respected one another as actors and gave each other enough rooms to show our wares, if you will. That culminated pretty quickly with “Shuttle Pod One” towards the end of the first season. What a treat that was to do so soon.
Connor Trinneer: I also liked how they gave us that moment at the end of the series to say goodbye.
Dominic Keating: I actually caught that episode visiting a friend in the last few months, and it made me cry again. I remember shooting it vividly. Connor and I get to say goodbye to one another in engineering. I am going off to another ship and we are all getting dispersed. The gang is breaking up. It is a very moving scene as we say goodbye to each other on set, and in reality.
Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the premiere of the show, which debuted in September 2001. How do you feel the show was affected coming out so soon after 9/11 and how do you feel the post-9/11 era impacted Enterprise?
Connor Trinneer: It changed our show. It made our show what it turned out to be. It wasn’t intended to be that. You can’t really watch the show without thinking about 9/11. A big part of it was our collective reaction and our emotional experience ongoing throughout that time. Honestly it was therapeutic, for me at least. I was able, through a character, sort of experience and consider these things. You cannot watch the show without that as your backdrop.
Dominic Keating: The Xindi arc, which came out of the 9/11 experience, was also dictated by the huge success of 24, which had never been done before. It was this constant arc of a storyline. Each episode stood alone, but you had to watch them all to get the full picture. And that was our season three.
And then Manny Coto came on around half-way through that and wrote a particularly wonderful episode for his arrival [“Similitude”]. He’s a massive Star Trek fan and very talented and they handed the reins to him, he was showrunner for season four, and did a great job and gone on to major success since.
Trinneer and Keating virtual panel Saturday, meet and greet next Wednesday
The Creation virtual fan experience panel with Connor Trinneer and Dominic is on Saturday, May 16th at 10:15 AM PT. The live event uses StageIt, with tickets priced as “pay what you can.” They will both also be doing a limited meet and greet on May 21st, with 10 slots being auctioned off. You can bid at auctions.creation.com.
Keep up with all the Star Trek conventions and event news here at TrekMovie.com.